‘Lanka has made progress in promoting reconciliation and human rights’

The relevant institutions will work according to the Constitution and law of the country when implementing the accountability measures in Sri Lanka, said Secretary to the President Austin Fernando.

Stating that accountability measures that need to be implemented in Sri Lanka will be discussed in Geneva, Fernando added that accountability mechanisms would follow the Constitution and law of the country.

Fernando made this statement at the launch of a programme to support reconciliation in Sri Lanka by the Ministry of National Integration and reconciliation, the European Union and the German Government at the Taj Samudra Hotel, Colombo yesterday.

He further said that the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein, also mentioned in Sri Lanka responding to a question raised by media that every country has its own view and accountability mechanisms need to be implemented in line with the Constitution.

In the meantime Fernando added that country has made progress in the implementation of resolution 30/1 on promoting reconciliation, accountability and human rights.

Fernando said that Sri Lanka’s Judicial system was questioned but the truth is the country has achieved certain things.

“We assume that we would be able to do it better,”he said.

He said after the present government came into power, they had to work out some systems and approaches to ensure that reconciliation takes place.

“In the resolution that was passed by the United Nations Human Rights Commission on Sri Lanka, we agreed on four pillars of reconciliation. We said we will look into the missing persons issue. Therefore, we appointed a truth and reconciliation commission and established office for missing persons. Secondly, we agreed to look into accountability mechanisms and thirdly, we agreed to work on reconciliation and the fourth pillar was the steps to be taken for non-recurrence. We have government appointed group of people from various communities to look into these issues,” he explained.

He said they are yet to see the outcome of the Truth and Reconciliation Committee (TRC).

“Then we worked on Office of Missing persons (OMP), there were criticisms but we faced them all succesfully. The commissioners have been appointed and they have received more than thousands of applications. The other was the reparation unit. We presented the concept paper prepared to the cabinet two weeks before and now its with the legal draftsman. We hope to present it to the Parliament soon”, he said.

The reconciliation programme launched is worth Rs 2.7 Billion, and it will be conducted in collaboration with the Ministry of Co-existence, Dialogue and Official languages, the Office for National Unity and Reconciliation (ONUR) as well as other relevant line ministries and civil society organizations. It will be implemented by the Deutsche Gesellschaft fur Internationale Zusammenabeit (GIZ) and the British Council.

The goal of the four year programme is to support government, non-government and grassroots organisations in the national reconciliation process. The primary focus of the programme is to track progress on reconciliation, facilitate learning and strengthen institutions at national and sub-national levels as well as promote public engagement in policy making.

Share on Google Plus

About Lankaimage lanka

This is a short description in the author block about the author. You edit it by entering text in the "Biographical Info" field in the user admin panel.